Adele Cliff talks about her favourite farm animal SHEEP at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I was always quite silly and a little sarcastic as a child. I loved trying to write jokes into my homework and presentations at school, although I always ended up being the narrator in school plays because I was good at remembering lines and speaking clearly.
I was very sporty in my teens and did a lot of diving and gymnastics competitions. If ever I thought I wasn’t going to win, I used to try and make my wipe-outs look good. I’ve got loads of £250 clips just waiting to be sent to ‘You’ve Been Framed’ (they are my current pension plan)
When I got to uni, I joined the comedy society, which at the time was basically just 8 men who quoted sitcoms at each other, and I met my incredibly funny friend Kate when she joined the following year. We started writing jokes and sketches together and recording bits for YouTube and student radio. My first experience in Edinburgh was a university sketch show and I fully got into stand-up a few years later.
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Sheep is all about what it means to be an individual and what it means to fit in, and it’s about my favourite farm animal.
It was inspired by two incidents; one when I was 13 and one from September last year. Both of them involved sheep and both of them made me think.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I’ve been working on this show specifically since the last Edinburgh Fringe but as it’s my debut hour it really feels like I’ve been building up to it for the last couple of years now.
I think Sheep is relevant to audiences in 2018 because it’s about individuality and what makes us fit in and stand out, and I think with social media it’s both easier and harder to stand out and to find your tribe.
It’s also got some great jokes about livestock, which are timeless.
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Tip 1: Wear rubber gloves to avoid getting paper cuts from flyers.
Tip 2: Hydrate – 1 cup of rainwater a day should do it.
Tip 3: Don’t skip while eating breakfast, you’ll get Coco Pops everywhere.
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I was doing a student sketch show a few years ago. One day my aunt and uncle, who I’d not seen for about 4 years, turned up unannounced with friends. During one sketch I had to rip my shirt open and dramatically swoon. As I lay motionless on the stage with my entire bra out for the remaining 5 minutes of the sketch I couldn’t help but think, this is a far more intimate reunion than any of us were prepared for.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
I love hardworking joke writers like Gary Delaney and Milton Jones. Performers with unique styles and voices like Sara Pascoe, Richard Ayoade and Vic and Bob. And trailblazers like Victoria Wood and Jo Brand who have helped make being a female stand-up so much better than it was in the past.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Whenever I have a big gig I wear superhero socks, I’ve bought some brand new ones for Edinburgh.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Sarah Keyworth, Catherine Bohart, Richard Wright, Paul Duncan McGarrity, Laura Lexx, Jason Byrne, Dylan Moran, Sindhu Vee, Gary Delaney. There’s so many.
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the Fringe?
I think people should come and see my show because it will be a really enjoyable hour that will make them laugh a whole bunch. Also, I’m recruiting for a trampoline dodgeball team and I will be using the show to scout potential members.
ADELE CLIFF: Sheep (4:10pm, Just the Tonic)